By Ravendra Madholall
United States of America (USA) beat United Arab Emirates (UAE) by five wickets on Thursday in the continuation of the 2023 World Cup 50-overs Qualifiers in Namibia.
UAE batted first after winning the toss and posted up a challenging 279-9 from the 50-overs while USA, in response, safely reached 281-5 in the penultimate over.
Their effort was led by batsman Saiteja Mukkamalla who hit an impressive 120 not out which counted 12 fours from 114 balls.
He got good support from Monank Patel with 50 while the consistent Sushant Modani made 39 and 23 from Gajanand Singh.
Seamer Junaid Siddique picked up three wickets for 49 runs from his maximum ten overs.
When UAE batted, Asif Khan stroked a brilliant 103 which was punctuated with nine fours and two sixes spanning 84 deliveries.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Nisarg Patel and Jessy Singh had two wickets apiece, bowling for the Americas on an animated pitch.
USA have now two wins from three outings so far. They are set to be back in action on Sunday against Papua New Guinea (PNG).
But before that, the six-team tournament will have a double-header on Saturday. UAE will confront unbeaten Canada while PNG will clash with Jersey.
The hosts are leading the table with four points from three encounters while Canada sit at number 2 with two victories. USA are also with four points occupying their third spot but they are there because of less net-run-rate.
UAE at four follows by PNG while Jersey are languishing at the bottom without a point.
The tournament is slated to conclude next Thursday with the top two teams progressing to the next Qualifiers segment which will be played in Zimbabwe July/August. They will be continuing their Qualification pathway for this year’s International Cricket Council’s World Cup to be held in India.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Namibia also recorded a victory. They conquered Jersey by an emphatic eight-wicket margin with 17.5 overs to spare. Michael Van Lingen highlighted the game with a magnificent, unbeaten 110.